Nursing

Nurses can’t afford to ignore healthcare costs

Nurse Leader Insider, September 17, 2015

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Concern for the hospital's bottom line has traditionally been outside the realm of RNs, but understanding healthcare costs gives them an advantage in improving patient care and insight into leadership challenges.

From the time we enter school, nurses are taught to be advocates who champion our patients' needs regardless of their diagnosis, social standing, or access to resources.

"When I was a student nurse the mantra was, 'We give care regardless of cost,'" says Susan J. Penner, DrPh, RN, MN, MPA, CNL, an adjunct faculty member who teaches courses in healthcare financial management at the University of San Francisco School of Nursing and Health Professions.

Times have changed in the years since Penner and I went to nursing school. Today, often to the chagrin of those providing bedside care, there is a much greater emphasis on healthcare costs and financial outcomes than there were just a few decades ago. I've heard many nurses imply that "bean counters," administrators, and for-profit companies value financial outcomes more than doing what's right for patients and that this mindset is detrimental to patient care.

But after talking with Penner, it became clear to me that nurses don't have to let financial goals determine how they provide care to their patients. In fact, hospital finances usually benefit when nurse-driven improvements to care delivery are made.

Read the rest of this article at HealthLeadersMedia.com.



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